Chamber News

04Toys 4 0 Engineers

As the countdown begins for Toys4.0Engineers Conference & Expo at WIT Arena on Thursday, October 11th, Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie says there are many positive developments underway across the South East Region, particularly in the areas of engineering, pharma, medtech and renewables.

“There is a broad base of internationally trading companies in the region. Every day, through our international offices, we see how innovation is key to competing and winning in global markets, so the greatest opportunities will come to those companies with a focus on innovation and operating at the at the top of their competitive-game.”

It is that innovation which will be at the heart of the Toys4.0Engineers Conference & Expo, organised by Waterford Chamber, in association with Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), where Ms Sinnamon will make the opening address.

She will be joined on stage for the conference element of the event by Tadhg Lucey, Director of BAM Ireland; Paddy Phelan, 3CEA; Christian Olariu, IBM and Padraig McGarry, Abbott Diagnotics, all of whom will discuss their latest projects and innovations.

Following the conference, the Expo will get underway with over 70 companies from all over Ireland showcasing their products, services and latest technologies. Whether it’s an UMI robot, Exoskelton, Electric Cars, Drones, 3D Printing, AR or VR that whets your fancy, Toys4Engineers has it covered. There will also be live demonstrations by companies throughout the afternoon and WLR’s Geoff Harris will be broadcasting live.

Speaking ahead of the event, Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley said: ““Following on from recent discussions with companies in the South East who have increasing high-tech Engineering Recruitment and Skills requirements, we are opening the doors for free to the public from 11am. Therefore, anybody looking to pursue a career in Engineering or perhaps move from their current role outside the SE region, are encouraged to come along and meet with the various HR Departments. We are delighted to have the support of Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Cobotics Skillnet, Waterford Local Enterprise Office, SIMI and South East Action Plan for Jobs, all of whom have identified the skills shortage within the region and collectively we are working to get the message out there that Waterford and the wider region is a great place to work and live.”

Meanwhile, Dr Ken Thomas, Head of School of Engineering at WIT said: “‘Industry 4.0’ is driving the Technology, Innovation, Recruitment and Upskilling agendas of companies in all sectors of the economy.  Engineers need to develop and use new ‘toys’ to address the many competitive challenges. In addition to upskilling the existing engineering talent in the South-East, we also the need to grow the pool of degree and postgraduate qualified Engineers in all disciplines for the region.”

Toys4Engineers will showcase the very latest in those areas and is sure to provide plenty learning and networking opportunities to all experienced and aspiring engineers out there.”

The morning conference, costing just €50 with students free, begins with registration at 8.30am, while the exhibition runs from 11am to 4pm, and the public are also welcome.

For more information see or contact Lynda Lawton in Waterford Chamber on 051 311130.

Responding to the announcement by Minister for Health Simon Harris that a second permanent cath lab is to be provided on the grounds of University Hospital Waterford, Gerald Hurley, CEO of Waterford Chamber said: “We welcome the decision by Government to provide a second Cath Lab for UHW and welcome the fact that the process to design and construct the new lab is to start immediately, with the recruitment of staff due to take place during construction.

“However, it is still a long way from providing 24/7 Cardiac Care for the South East Region. The time line of 12 to 16 months still leaves a considerable amount of time where we are faced with life and death situations on a daily basis. We are also concerned that no decision or service budget plan has been included in the announcement that would provide a much-needed interventional service.

“As the Capital of the South East, Waterford needs to have the proper health care facilities to cater for the 500,000+ catchment area, so while this is one small step forward, there is certainly a long road still to travel to secure what is required. We will continue to work on behalf of our members and the business community in Waterford to ensure 24/7 Cardiac Care remains firmly on the agenda, irrespective of the latest announcement.”

Issue 09 (Q4 2019)

Network Issue 09 Cover

Issue 08 (Q3 2019)

Network Issue 08 Cover

Issue 07 - Q2 2019

Network Issue 07 Cover

Issue 06 - Q1 2019

Network Issue 06 Cover

Issue 05 - Q4 2018

Network Issue 05 Cover

Issue 04 - Q3 2018

Network Issue 04 Cover


Issue 03 - Q2 2018

Network Issue 03 Cover


Issue 02 - Q1 2018

Network Issue 02 Cover


Issue 01 - Q4 2017

Network Issue 01 Cover

Waterford business leaders gathered at City Hall this week for a ‘National Conversation’ hosted by Waterford Chamber and Dublin Chamber.

Led by Dublin Chamber President Anne O’Leary, who is also CEO of Vodafone Ireland, the event took the form of brief presentations, followed by workshop discussions on Technology and Education and the importance of them to the local, regional and national agenda.

Opening the event, Waterford Chamber President Kathryn Kiely said: “Through the National Planning Framework, Waterford has been designated as the Capital of the South East and let me be clear – we are ready to play our part as the fifth largest city, in leading the region and achieving its full potential. We are eager to play our part on the national stage – in partnership with the other cities, Cork, Limerick, Galway and of course Dublin.”

Anne O’Leary has led this discussion with the other regional cities and was keen to point out “Dublin isn’t just for Dubliners”. She went on to ask what do we expect from Dublin and what would we like it to be? “I believe we need to be much more joined up in our thinking”, she said. “We need to understand we’re not competing, we need to be collaborating, co-operating and supporting and from a Chamber perspective, I know that together the Chambers are better.”

Meanwhile Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke presented the findings from their Great Dublin Survey, indicating that based on international trends, the capital is certain to grow and to achieve that and manage it effectively, a well planned capital city we can all be proud of is crucial.

Interestingly, based on the criteria for a great city, according to Mercer, among the list are a high quality of life, easy to get around, family friendly, sustainability and affordable accommodation – all attributes Waterford has in abundance.

Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley concluded the event by saying: “It is heartening that we now have a strong dialogue going on between the four regional cities and the capital, particularly in light of Ireland 2040. There is certainly plenty of work to do and we look forward to playing a crucial role in that.”

RLP Speakers

Waterford Chamber is delighted to announce its sister company Waterford Chamber Skillnet has recognised the Regional Leaders Programme as an official training programme under the Skillnet Ireland brand.

Speaking about the programme, Waterford Chamber Skillnet Network Manager Sara Mullally said: “This programme fits in perfectly with the Skillnet ethos of supporting people in business through training and development. To celebrate the partnership, we are this year in a position to fund the participant cost by 50%, reducing the cost from €350 for Chamber members, to €175, which makes it affordable and accessible to all, whether you are a large employer with a number of managers looking to get involved, or a start-up in need of additional support.”

Responding to the need to develop a pipeline of future leaders in the South East region, Waterford Chamber, with the support of Waterford Chamber Skillnet and Bausch + Lomb, designed the Regional Leaders Programme to develop business leaders for the future through mentorship and skills sharing. Waterford Institute of Technology have also come on board to support the 2018/19 programme, which is aimed at professionals who want to develop their leadership skills or for companies who would like to increase the capacity of their internal talent pool to ensure the next generation of their company is in safe hands.

Speaking about the Skillnet funding, Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley said: “It is fantastic that Waterford Chamber Skillnet are in a position to offer 50% funding this year. Supporting business growth is to the core of what we do at Waterford Chamber and as an additional support to start-ups in the first three years of business, we will also include free Chamber membership for a year. Throughout the nine months, participants will have access to a host of successful mentors on a one to one basis, as well as monthly group mentoring sessions. In addition, we have three hugely inspiring speakers lined up for our networking lunches, Dr Norah Patten of the International Space University; Founder of Dublin Aerospace Conor McCarthy and Waterford businessman Michael Doherty, who is CEO of Woodbrook Group.

“By getting involved with the Regional Leaders Programme, you are in effect joining the largest networking body in the region right now, expanding your connections and learning from each other. Based on the feedback we received after year one, we have enhanced the offering this year and are delighted with the significant take up already.”

To find out more about the Regional Leaders Programme call Kelly Cummins on 051 872639.

3 speaker pic

Waterford Chamber has confirmed three inspiring speakers for their Regional Leaders Programme, which begins in September.

Dr Norah Patten of the International Space University; Founder of Dublin Aerospace Conor McCarthy and Waterford businessman Michael Doherty, who is CEO of Woodbrook Group, will all address participants during the nine month programme.

Dr Patten became Ireland’s first scientist-astronaut candidate with Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere) in 2017 and is the founder of Planet Zebunar which develops products to inspire the next generation of engineers, astronauts, scientists and innovators. She holds a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering and a 1.1. bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Limerick. Norah has worked as a lecturer at the University of Limerick and spent three years at the Irish Centre for Composites as the Communications and Outreach Manager.

Conor McCarthy is no stranger to the Regional Leaders Programme, having been a mentor in the inaugural programme. Conor’s impressive 39-year career in Commercial Aviation includes CEO of Aer Lingus Commuter at 28 years of age, Director of Group Operations at Ryanair, Director and Co-founder of AirAsia – Asia’s largest Low Cost Airline), Director of Pegasus Airlines, MD of PlaneConsult and Executive Chairman of Dublin Aerospace.

Conor has extensive knowledge and experience with Commercial start-ups to established businesses worldwide. Dublin Aerospace started from the ashes of SR Technics in 2009 which today is a €50million, 400+employee business. Recently, Conor was appointed non-executive chairman on the board to Stobart Air, which operates across 43 routes throughout 11 European countries.

Waterford businessman Michael Doherty has led the Woodbrook Group through a period of significant international expansion since the 45-year-old set up the financial advisory company five years ago. The rapidly-growing company is looking at potential takeovers in South America and the Middle East and is currently in talks with a view to making a public offering on the NASDAQ Stock Market in the United States. Michael is also CEO of Mutual Trust, whose clientele includes high net-worth individuals, local and international companies and government agencies, and Robusto Asset Management.

Michael set up his own mobile phone company when he was just 17, which he sold on a few years later before going on to establish the Waterford-based logistics company Osprey with his father Andy and brother Richard. Last month the Cheekpoint native was recognised as one of the ‘100 Most Influential People in the Global Financial Services Sector’ by the respected International Advisor publication.

Joining the three speakers are a host of well-known business leaders who will act as mentors throughout the programme, offering one to one mentoring sessions and group mentoring sessions.

Speaking about the programme, Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley said: “We are delighted to have secured such high profile speakers for our second Regional Leaders Programme. The life-experience and knowledge they have amassed throughout their careers will no doubt inspire and motivate our programme participants, who are all potential leaders themselves. That coupled with the experience and understanding our mentors offer, participants will gain the confidence to reach their own potential and become leaders in their chosen field. We are very grateful to have the support of Bausch + Lomb, Waterford Chamber Skillnet and new partners Waterford Institute of Technology, all of whom are important advocates for learning and development. We would encourage anyone in business, or heads of business who have identified potential leaders within their organisation, to give serious consideration to taking part and ensuring the future of their business.”

To find out more about the Regional Leaders Programme or to book a place, please see or call 051 872639.

Chambers Ireland today (12th July 2018) launched its Pre Budget 2019 Submission, recommending that Government use Budget 2019 as an opportunity to think strategically about how we can future-proof our economy and make the best use of today’s prosperity in preparing for the threats facing Ireland on an international stage.

Speaking at the Chamber Chief Executives’ Forum in Athlone, where Chamber Chief Executives from all over the country have gathered, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said, “Budget 2019 will be the first since the finalisation of Project Ireland 2040, but it will also be the last before the UK’s departure from the European Union. This is representative of the wider position in which we currently stand; with great opportunity for growth on the one hand, and significant external threats on the other.

“The message from consulting with our Chamber Network was clear: delivery of the National Development Plan is a priority for business. Government now needs to ensure that the infrastructure commitments made in the National Development Plan are delivered upon. The Rainy Day Fund should act an equalisation fund to ensure that we can continue to invest in infrastructure in any future economic downturn.

Chambers Pre Budget Submission 2019“Our Pre Budget Submission recommends a range of measures which aim to make Ireland a better place in which to do business and bolster our economy for sustainable growth well into the future. Supporting entrepreneurs through the Brexit period, enabling indigenous businesses to grow and continuing to improve upon Ireland’s overall competitiveness should be the focus of Government in Budget 2019. Chambers Ireland’s submission recommends measures which will promote a sustainable future through investment in infrastructure; supporting our workforce through fair taxation and affordable childcare; encouraging entrepreneurship though tax equity for the self-employed and improving upon employee share options for SMEs; and battling Brexit through trade supports and maintaining the 9% VAT rate for the tourism industry.

“Ireland’s competitiveness is increasingly under threat from the high cost of doing business and general high cost of living in Ireland. Government must focus on addressing the issues contributing to these high costs, from childcare to housing and beyond.

“It is imperative that we use Budget 2019 to plan for the future with equal measures of optimism and caution. We stand in a strong economic position today. Strategic planning and spending should lead us on a sustainable path, ready to seize future opportunities and weather any threats.”

EU Japan summit

Chambers Ireland today (6th July 2018) welcomes the news that the EU and Japan have been authorised to formally ratify a new trade deal, negotiations for which first began in 2013.

Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot commented, “Exactly one year to the day when the deal was approved by the European Commission, today’s approval of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement by European member countries at Council is a welcome stand against protectionism, amidst ongoing turbulence in global trade. The conclusion of this trade deal provides steadfast assurances to EU and Irish business of the benefits of the Single Market, and also the opportunities the EU provides for increased trade globally.

“The EU-Japan trade agreement holds a lot of potential for Irish business in particular, particularly for businesses active in the agri-food, ICT and life sciences sectors.

This deal also demonstrates the negotiation strength of the EU operating as a single large bloc.

“While attention this weekend will be focused on the outcome of UK government discussions at Chequers, the news from Brussels today is a positive signal that, in spite of growing protectionism globally, the EU continues to advocate for the benefits of open markets and closer trading relationships.

Building on existing vibrant trade links with Japan must be part of how Ireland prepares for Brexit.

Regional Leaders Closing Lunch 2018

Waterford Chamber’s inaugural Regional Leaders Programme drew to a close at Faithlegg as the mentors and participants came together one last time for a networking lunch.

Responding to the need to develop a pipeline of future leaders in the South East region, Waterford Chamber, with the support of Bausch + Lomb and Waterford Chamber Skillnet, designed the Regional Leaders Programme to develop business leaders for the future through mentorship and skills sharing.

The programme is aimed at professionals who want to develop their leadership skills or for companies who would like to increase the capacity of their internal talent pool to ensure the next generation of their company is in safe hands. While the first programme drew to a close, Waterford Chamber President Kathryn Kiely also announced details of the second programme, which is due to begin in September, and will see participants from year one still very much involved in the programme.

“In a recent EY survey of global business leaders developing ‘the next generation’ of leaders in organisations has been identified as one of the top ten challenges facing companies.  Having had mentors myself over the years and having mentored others I know how important a programme like this is both for the development and benefit of the individual but also the organisation. At different stages in our careers we all need someone to turn to for advice and to share ideas. It’s that shared learning experience which helps us all to grow and develop within our chosen careers.

“I am delighted to announce we have created an exclusive alumni so you can continue your association with the programme. As members of the alumni, you are most welcome to attend our speaker lunches from now on, as our guests and continue to take part in one of the most important parts of the programme – networking. We are delighted to have two of our three speakers already confirmed for next year – Dr. Norah Patten in November, who will be the first Irish astronaut in space, and a man some of you met and were truly inspired by on this programme, Conor McCarthy, who will return to us in March of next year. We are also delighted to Waterford Institute of Technology on board as education partner for next year, along with Waterford Chamber Skillnet, Bausch + Lomb.”

Partners Bausch + Lomb played a pivotal role in developing the programme and speaking at the lunch, Site Lead Mark Hennessy said: “With over 200 mentoring sessions, four speaker lunch and nearly 80 people engaged in the programme, this has been a tremendous success. Developing leaders is to the core of what we do at Bausch + Lomb – the retention of staff is critical in today’s workforce and people must be afforded the opportunity to develop their careers and identify the chance to succeed and progress. The Regional Leaders Programme is a hugely important vehicle for that and one we are proud to be associated with.”

Key note speaker Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland, spoke of leadership and management development in a national context, while also outlining the opportunities Skillnets present for employers in terms of training.

“Engaging in management development is vital for all business owners and managers, but particularly for small firms. An ever widening productivity gap between indigenous SMEs and the multinationals based here has been observed. A low uptake of management development and life long learning is a factor in this. Skillnet Ireland works with over 15,000 firms across Ireland providing subsided and highly relevant training. I would strongly encourage businesses in the South East to engage with your local Skillnet so we can help you with your training needs.”

The second Regional Leaders Programme gets underway in September, offering one to one mentoring sessions, group mentoring masterclasses and inspiring speaker lunches. For more information click here.

Following on from the recent launch of ‘Keep Waterford Beautiful’ by Tom Murphy Volkswagen, Waterford Chamber CEO Gerald Hurley is encouraging the business community to follow the lead and take pride in our city.

“In this glorious weather, there is nowhere nicer in the world than Waterford. We all take pride in our city and county and all it has to offer, but we must also take action and keep up the standards. Waterford was ranked the cleanest city in Ireland in 2017 and we should be determined to secure the same result for 2018.

“Thanks to the City in Bloom initiative, the floral displays are fantastic and we are asking all business owners in the city to take pride in their shop/office front as well. Each week we see huge cruise liners arrive into the city, as well as coach loads of tourists. Now is the time to put the best foot forward and ensure they return home and recommend Waterford to their family and friends.

“Tom Murphy has launched a fantastic initiative where each participating club will receive €500 for their efforts at a prize giving ceremony at Tom Murphy Volkswagen on Wednesday 23rd August. They have identified eight blackspot areas throughout the city which are in need of care and we hope that the business community will follow suit and work on their own environs.”

For more information on ‘Keep Waterford Beautiful’, contact Tom Murphy Volkswagen on 051 301222.

Ahead of this week’s meeting of the EU Council and in light of the snail’s pace in negotiations between the UK and EU, Chambers Ireland today (26th June 2018) calls on the EU27 and the UK government to provide clarity to business on what the future trade relationship post March 2019 will be.

Speaking this afternoon, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive of Chambers Ireland said, “This week’s European Council Summit is the final official meeting of the EU27 and the UK prior to what we expected should be the final agreement in October. At this point, there would have been an assumption that both parties would be able, at minimum, to confirm the nature and length of the transitional arrangement to be in place following the UK’s departure from the EU in 2019.

And yet, six months on from the provisional agreement reached on the backstop solution, the business community on all parts of the island continue to have as many questions and concerns regarding how the Border will be managed after the UK’s exit and the nature of a transitional period post March.

The June EU Summit risks being yet another milestone that will pass without progress being made or the UK Government providing any clarity with respect to how it intends to honour commitments made as part of the draft Withdrawal Agreement. This is consequently leading to growing fears in the business community that a “no deal” scenario will emerge later this year.

The clearest message we are hearing from the Chamber Network and their members is that they require clarity from the negotiations so that they can plan and prepare. However they also note that these preparations will require a realistic timeframe. In March of this year, a survey of our member Chambers found that there was almost unanimous support for a transition period following 29 March 2019, with over three quarters of Chambers noting that more than two years would be required.

It is quite extraordinary when looked at through a business lens that six months have passed without any discernible process. Indeed it could be argued that matters have regressed during that timeframe as the interpretation of the “backstop” seems to continue to cause difficulties. Businesses are entitled to have their voice heard in this debate as they will have to pick up the pieces and endeavour to maintain people’s livelihoods as this process continues.”

Page 6 of 9


What We Do For Our Members





business services
















What Our Members Say

"Both Waterford Chamber and Bausch + Lomb understand the importance of leadership for the achievement of business success. Working with Waterford Chamber on the Regional Leaders Programme demonstrates just how effective it can be to come together and work collaboratively. The Regional Leaders Programme provides an opportunity to share our talents and expertise with the motivation to really ‘make things happen’."

Jackie Roche, Learning + Organisational Development Manager, Bausch + Lomb




We Can Help!

Call us to find out how Waterford Chamber can help you with your business and training needs today.





 contact us button